Marcus Shelby

Composer/Performer

A.R.T.: Debut. Marcus Anthony Shelby is a composer, arranger, bassist, and educator who currently lives in San Francisco. His work and music have focused on the history, present, and future of African American lives, social movements, and early childhood music education. In 1990, Shelby received the Charles Mingus Scholarship to attend Cal Arts and study composition with James Newton and bass with Charlie Haden. From 1990-1996, Shelby was bandleader of Columbia Records Recording Artists Black/ Note. Currently, Shelby is artist in residence with the Yerba Buena Gardens Festival. In 2013, Shelby received a MAP Fund Award to compose Beyond the Blues: A Prison Oratorio, an original composition for big band orchestra about the prison industrial complex. In 2015, Shelby was commissioned by Anna Deveare Smith to compose the score for her new play Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education. Shelby also has arranged for Ledisi and the Count Basie Orchestra, recorded with Tom Waits, and received the City Flight Magazine 2005 award as one of the “Top Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area." Shelby teaches at the Stanford Jazz Workshop and in March 2013, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee appointed Shelby to the San Francisco Arts Commission.

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